Blue and Brown make Grey

©2002 Marion Pennell

©2002 Marion Pennell

When I was young I wanted colouring books without dark thick black lines outlining the objects. (I finally did have one – of animals! – with faint grey lines, so that no lines showed when you were done.) There are no outlines in life, one thing ends where the other begins, even if the other is the sky or the wall. The colour and shadow. Continue reading

The best year of my life

June 7th is my Liberation Day.  One year ago I shed the burden of anxiety, depression, and PTSD – when I learned my abuser – my teenage boyfriend – was not only merely dead, he was really most sincerely dead.

©2006 Marion Pennell

©2006 Marion Pennell

Music abounded: Let It Go, Brave, Everything is Beautiful, I am Woman, I’m Free… The soundtrack in my head flipped to joyous. Continue reading

Memento Mori

When I was taking courses for my DEC in Special Ed (Adult Ed night classes downtown), we learned about suicide.  Which methods each gender tried, each age group tried. And the repercussions.  Many people that jumped – if they survived, they essentially made themselves dependent disabled people for life.  We heard about metro drivers, and how devastating it is to hit a person. Suicide by cop. There are so many many repercussions.

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

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Thanks Clara Hughes

Thank you Clara Hughes, the Olympian, for opening up frank and honest dialogue about mental illness in Clara’s Big Ride around our country.

In the late 1990s, the last time I was suicidal, I also went through a period of unemployment during which I assigned myself tasks each day, however small, to get me to do something.  One day I memorized Hamlet’s soliloquy, which seemed apt, since it is a rumination on suicide.  I read it all, but felt it summed up the arguments, pro and con, in just these stanzas, so that is what I memorized, and play in my head, as required. Continue reading

I live white privilege, I didn’t earn it

©2000 Marion Pennell

©2000 Marion Pennell

Currently there are 54 countries in Africa.  I have met people (and have had enough of a conversation to say I know a little about them) from Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, and Uganda.  The man from Uganda was a Hindu living there, and under Idi Amin’s regime had to flee with just the clothes on his back.  I can’t even imagine. Continue reading

I remember

©2005 Marion Pennell

©2005 Marion Pennell

I went to the funeral back in December 1989.  Not inside the basilica, we stood outside in the cold.  There were speakers to broadcast the service.  It was in French, but I couldn’t understand most of it because of the outdoor acoustics, not the language.  It didn’t matter.  We all knew what was being said.  Eleven of the fourteen shared a funeral.  Eleven hearses.  It was very cold, but nobody complained.  There were a lot of men too, that helped.

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